Online Champ Ring Pawn Shop Business Booms

Even an economic situation as bad as we’re currently in has some opportunities for profit. CNBC’s Darren Rovell reminds us of this, as he has an interview with a man whose business has never been better even as - perhaps because of - the economy going into the toilet. He’s Tim Robins of Championship Rings, a Web site that buys and sells over 1,200 championship rings from all levels of competition ever year.

Pawn shops and championship rings

Essentially, he’s an Internet pawn shop, focusing on championship rings, giving former players and staff members somewhere to get some quick cash for their treasured memorabilia other than eBay.  And why are people selling their rings? Robins says the reasons are sadly not very surprising.

A lot of times people sell the rings because of what we call the three D’s. It’s usually drugs, divorce, and/or death. And in recent times we’ve had to add an “E” to it because of the economy. With players, it’s more of a private sale. Instead of going off and selling their house, their expensive cars, they look for items that most people don’t see very often because they don’t necessarily wear their rings out everywhere. They wear them in public for people to see them, they wear them on talk shows, but a lot of people don’t see them. When they sell their ring a lot of people don’t know that they’re gone.

Robins won’t divulge who is selling off their stuff, only if a ring or trophy is from a player or staff. Which leaves you to do the ghoulish but inevitable task of wildly speculating, for example, about which member of the 1999 St. Louis Rams is so hard up for cash that he pawned off his Super Bowl ring.

Even in down economic times, the signature items aren’t cheap: the Rams Super Bowl ring, for example, is being sold for about $29,000, and recent items from the 2008 Giants and the 2007 Red Sox are similarly priced. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t some items out there for the shopper on a budget.

For example, a 2001 XFL Los Angeles Xtreme championship ring can be yours for just $16,000. Or, a 1994 Baltimore Stallions CFL Eastern Division Champions ring for the low, low price of just $4,000.

So there’s no need to fret: you can afford to strut around with an enormous, obnoxious piece of jewelery and pretend that you earned it. Or, turn the financial misfortune of others into a perfect holiday gift for that special someone. Nothing says “I love you” like giving a symbol of someone else’s personal ruin.